The party now turned its attention to the corpses of the Faceless Stalkers. Diligent search was made on and about them, but we found little of interest. Besides the six long swords and miscellaneous clothing, we found a sheet of parchment. It was on the body of the creature that had appeared as Foxglove. Upon examination it turned out to be a deed granted to Vorel Foxglove.
Deed to Foxglove Manor:
For and in consideration of the Magnimar City Estate and its Lord Mayor, I grant to Vorel Foxglove and the Brothers of Seven all the real property situated Along the Lost Coast bounded as follows: Two thirds of the property will belong to the Brothers of the Seven, and one third will belong to Vorel Foxglove. After one hundred years ownership of the estate and all the lands within one mile, around and below, will revert to the Brothers of
the Seven. Witness my hand and seal this 5th day of Goaran, In the year 2627.
xx William Leer
Additionally, Falathar checked the entire townhouse and courtyard searching for secret or hidden doors along with detect magic. Being an elf finding them should they exist would be no problem. After a considerable search he found nothing, “Better to have checked in vain than miss something” Falathar mused.
Falathar returned to the rest of the party where a discussion raged as to whether the Faceless Stalkers had just happened upon the townhouse or were in league with Foxglove’s friends. Strabo was sure that they had just got lucky finding the house, but Erlig argued the opposite. Falathar asked Strabo, “If they weren’t involved in the plot, how did they know what Foxglove and his wife looked like.
It was then that Rain showed a ledger she had found in one of the rooms. It had been with paper strewn about one of the rooms. Falathar being a scribe was asked to look at it. The entries showed that Foxglove was badly in debt. This might explain the lack of furniture and household items in the townhouse. He must have sold them off to raise money. The last entry was dated about a week after the goblin raid on Sandpoint:
Iesha’s trip to Absalon 200 gold pieces to Magnimar 3 Sugar Row.
Oddly, this same entry had appeared every month for some time. As we know his wife was dead to whom and for what was he paying each month. Our Paladin Justice recalled the Sugar Row was an upper merchant class neighborhood.
Our deliberations were interrupted by the town guard banging loudly on the front door. “Open up in the name of the law”. Rain, Justice, and Erlig led the party downstairs and opened the door. “There had been a report of fighting going on. Just who are you and what be you up to”? Rain tried to assure them everything was OK, but they guards weren’t
buying it. It was then that Erlig showed them the letter from the commander, “Perhaps this will explain.” They pondered the letter for a moment trying to decide if it was real. Justice’s patience was worn thin, “You know me and that it my father hand. We are here under his orders.” The guards quickly snapped to attention.
Justice then asked them to arrange to have the bodies of the Faceless Stalkers removed quietly without creating a scene. “Faceless Stalkers here in the city,” exclaimed the sergeant in charge. Strabo spoke up, “Tell no one but Justice’s father, the commander”. The guard looked uncomfortable, “I’ll have to tell my captain”. Justice assured him that
was “OK, but don’t tell anyone else and caution your men to do the same”. The sergeant then sent two of his men to get a covered cart and bring it up to the back door.
Shortly thereafter, the corpses were removed and the party gathered to plan. Strabo, Erlig, Cameo, Justice, and Falathar needed to rest up to regain their spells and abilities. It was
suggested that we reconnoiter 3 Sugar Row. Agrent and Rain volunteered to go once it was dark. Rain borrowed Falathar’s slippers of spider climb so she could keep up with Agrent. Erlig and Cameo only needed to sleep two hours due to their rings of sustenance. Erlig woke up and studied. After which, he cast magic missiles into his wand. Erlig then went back to sleep for a couple of hours.
Rain went shopping in the market for food. She went undisguised hoping that it would signal Foxglove’s “friends” to make a house call. Agrent moved about stealthily keeping an eye on Rain. While he did not notice anyone watching her, she noticed someone in the shadows of an alley watching Agrent. Whoever it was moved farther back into the shadows. Rain walked over to look at some items near Agrent. As she passed him, “Don’t look, but someone is watching you from the alley over there”. Of course Agrent immediately turned to stare at the alley. He couldn’t see anyone. Agrent moved off towards the alley stealthily and used the cover of a moving cart to dash across to the entrance. He moved down the alley to where Rain had seen the figure. No one was there so Agrent checked for footprints. It was hard to see, but he could make out the impressions where the person had stood. He tracked the footprints deeper into the alley. At first they were close together that showed a walking pace. Suddenly, the distance between each footprint increased dramatically showing a running stride. Agrent ran to follow the tracks.
The running footprints led Agrent to a crossroads. On the other side of the intersection he could see the prints led into a three story building. Agrent climbed the side of the building to the roof. As he peeked over the edge the rooftop was empty – no one in sight. In the distance a flock of seagulls was flying off. Carefully he climbed up on the roof and check for tracks. He followed the footprints in the loose dust on the roof to where they just stopped. Agrent swung his club through the air above the last footprints – nothing. He searched the roof carefully, but did not find anymore footprints. “Did he fly away” wondered Agrent.
Agrent carefully climbed down and returned to the market. He found Rain looking rather perturbed at his running off. Rain asked if he had found the individual? Agrent relayed what he had seen on the roof. “Where did he go”, asked Rain. “Maybe he turn into bird and fly away”, offered Agrent. Rain suggested that it might have been one of the faceless stalkers. Neither was very comfortable with the thought that the creatures might be able to transform into birds and fly. On their return they discussed this with Erlig and Cameo who where now up.
After eight hours of sleep Falathar awoke and checked with Erlig and Cameo. It seems that only Parlay and Bron are still suffering from the fight. Falathar cast a cure light on each of
them, which finished healing their wounds. He grabbed a quick bite to eat and decided to sleep up again.
Rain and Agrent prepared to go and observe 3 Sugar Row. Rain stopped and went to borrow Falathar’s slippers of spider climb. She found him still sleeping, “He needs to regain his spells no sense in waking him up” she thought. Rain carefully took the slippers from Falathar’s pack. She rejoined Agrent and bade the party members who where
awake, “Good night”.
Rain took the lead with the better low light vision, while Agrent watched her back. They followed Justice’s directions on how to find Sugar Row and arrived there after a short walk. They scanned the neighborhood seeing three storey buildings. Most of the buildings
had a shop on the ground floor. These included pastry bakers, confectioners and the like. Rain turned to Agrent quietly, “So that’s why they call it Sugar Row”. A confused Agrent didn’t understand so she explained what the shops produced. They spotted number 3 and noticed that it did not have a shop on the ground floor. It was a modest building in comparison and they noted no lights showing in the windows.
They moved to an alley and quietly climbed to the top of the building. They then saw a man walking down the street carrying a key and carrying some papers. The man approached the house and they could hear the door open and close. Agrent led the way and moved down to a third floor window, which wasn’t even locked. He slipped in quietly and moved to the room’s door. Rain followed him shortly thereafter. Agrent opened the
door a crack to look and listen. He peered downstairs and saw the man now wearing a robe peering though a notebook. Rain moved up and got a good look and realized that this man is the clerk in Justice Ironbriar’s court!
Agrent moved out on to the stair and leaped down on the man. He pulled his knife and put it to the stunned man’s throat as the papers and key went flying. Rain joined him downstairs and helped tie the clerk up. Agrent looked him in the eye, “Who you?” “A Shoanti thief,” challenged the bound clerk. “No,” replied Agrent giving him a cold stare, “who you.” “I’m Vern,” was the answer. “Foxglove pay you 200 gold each month…why?”
“I don’t know what you are talking about,” came the denial from Vern. “If you don’t tell…I cut throat,” Agrent trying his best to intimidate.
“I’m the clerk of the court. A secretary to the Chief Justice,” Vern said with disdain. “You in house where Foxglove send 200 coin…very luscious,” challenged Agrent. “I don’t know what you are talking about” came the denial. “Maybe you come and speak with friend,”
Agrent said as he pulled the poor man to his feet. Meanwhile, Rain gathered up the papers from the floor. She told Agrent to gag the prisoner for the trip back to the townhouse.
Upon arriving back at Foxglove’s townhouse, Agrent presented the bound clerk to Strabo. They took him into the empty side room. Strabo allowed Parlay into the room with “stay and don’t say anything.” He left Agrent outside to watch the door as he thought “last thing I need is a paladin to come in and spoil everything.” Strabo turned his attention to the bound prisoner, “I have to prepare for my friends.” He then pulled out a grease pen. Strabo would feel a spot on the prisoner’s wrist for a pulse and then mark it with the grease pen. He continued looking for pressure points and marking them in an effort to terrify the clerk. He looked into the bewildered eyes of the man, “My friends just don’t have the touch required” he said smiling.
“I’m going to ask you some questions.” Strabo pointed to Parlay “He will put you back into the chair if needed. Just nod if you understand.” Vern just sat there glaring at Strabo. “I can see this will be the hard way, but I don’t mind.” Strabo then changed into some very rough and stained clothing. He pulled out a knife and then some reagents from his pack. Next he pulled out a couple of empty glass vials. Strabo then walked over carrying a curtain tie with a tassel. “You understand the rules,” he said softly to the clerk.
“You stupid pathetic human,” snarled the clerk. Suddenly, his features blurred and shifted into the now familiar rubbery flesh of a faceless stalker. Somehow, he had just oozed past the ropes binding him. The creature stuck with both fists, but only on landed on Strabo.
Parlay charged with sword and shield missing with both. Strabo leaped behind Parlay and cast magic weapon on his sword.
The creature turned its attention on Parlay clearly the greatest threat. He swung with both fist again, but failed to connect. Parlay scored a hit with the long sword, but missed with the shield. Rain having heard the commotion pulled the door open. Stepping back she
launched an arrow, but being off-balance missed. Erlig standing alongside sent a magic missile from the wand into the creature. Cameo sent one from memory into it. Agrent walked up the wall onto the ceiling and moved behind the beast. Strabo cast bull’s strength on Parlay.
The stalker landed one of its fists hitting Parlay. Parlay missed with his sword, but struck it with the shield. Rain managed to put an arrow into the creature. Followed by Erlig and Cameo repeating their success with magic missles. Agrent dropped from the ceiling to backstab the stalker. Strabo cast bit of luck on Parlay as this creature seemed to be harder to hit than the others. Meanwhile, all of this commotion had jolted Falathar awake and he ran to see what was happening.
The creature tried in vain this time with its fist aimed at Parlay. It looks like Strabo efforts have not been wasted. Parlay landed a solid hit with the long sword, but failed again with
the shield. Falathar arrived and saw his friends fighting another faceless stalker. Rain sent a second arrow into it followed by Erlig and Cameo using magic missiles. Agrent tried in vain to strike the creature from behind. Strabo cast bit of luck for a second time on Parlay.
The creature seemed to be the worse for the wear and it missed in its attacks on Parlay. Falathar attempted a shot with his bow missing in his haste. Rain had no better luck. Erlig sent another magic missile into the creature. Cameo followed with one from memory and the creature slumped to the floor unconscious. Erlig suggested tying it up, but Strabo pointed out “I’ve learned ropes don’t hold it.” He then turned to Agrent, “Just kill it.” A smiling Agrent bent down and slit the creature’s throat with his knife.
Just then Bron reached the room and was aghast that it had been appearing as Justice Ironbriar’s clerk. “It gets worse,” said Rain and she showed us a letter from the papers collected at number 3 Sugar Row:
You have pleased me. Our work with the Skinsaw Men is going splendidly, and the reaping of souls the name of the Master continues apace. However, their exuberance is possibly drawing attention to matters here. Fortunately, the interest of those adventurers from Sandpoint was easily deflected, and doubtless Aldern will deal with their interference in due course.
It is a happy circumstance that the worship of their lord of murder coincides with our desire to devour the greedy souls of the Magnimar – truly an ideal hunting ground in which to find the seeds of avarice. And with the Chief Justice and his cult as our allies, the temporal powers of the city are unlikely to discover our plot until it is too late. The fear of the populace now will be as naught to what they will suffer when the Lord is risen and you and your people are given free rein to hunt within the city.
Ensure you keep me informed of Ironbriar’s activities. While his infatuation with me is useful, and has its compensations. I fear that he attends less to the details of our scheme. Should you has reason to consider he might become unreliable, inform me at once.
A horrified Bron exclaimed, “Justice Ironbriar is one of them.”